Poppies to the Park

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A Close-Knit Community Effort

Poppies to the Park is a community art project to commemorate our veterans. Thousands of knitted and crocheted poppies made by members of local and global communities will create garlands to be installed on the Bicentennial Bridge in Jefferson City’s Deborah Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island.

Poppies will be installed in time for Veterans Day on November 11, 2024, and remain in place for viewing through Thanksgiving. We will continue to collect poppies until October 31, 2024, to reach our main goal.

Poppies to the Park is made possible by Jefferson City Rotary Clubs with support from JC Parks, Missouri River Regional Library, and community members like you!

The Project

25,000 poppies. How are we going to make that happen? One poppy at a time.
Materials and Patterns
Remembrance poppies are red or red/orange so the poppies should be a shade of red or orange but not burgundy, peach or yellow colored.  The slight variations of red color, texture, and size will enhance the look of the project.

Poppies should measure 3-4 inches in diameter. Yarn tails should not be left on the poppies – this will help us attach the flowers to the garland.

There are several patterns available online if you search for “remembrance poppy”. Here are a couple to try out, but any knit or crochet poppy pattern is acceptable! As long as the poppies are a shade of red or orange, the texture and size variation will enhances the appearance of the poppy garland.

Crochet Button Poppy Flower

Knit Poppy Pattern

Drop-Off Locations
Poppies will be accepted through October 31, 2024 (but we’ll take them sooner!). When dropping off your poppies, please include a note including your name, mailing address, and the number of poppies being donated. This will help us track our progress…it’s A LOT of poppies! Your information will not be shared with any other parties.

As poppies are received and garland sections are completed, they will temporarily be on display on the walking track railing at the Linc until installed on the Bicentennial Bridge. This will serve as our gauge and help spread awareness of the project.

Collection Sites (click the location name for drop-off hours)

The Linc
Attn: Leann Porrello
1299 Lafayette St.
Jefferson City, MO USA 65101

Missouri River Regional Library
214 Adams St.
Jefferson City, MO USA 65101

Osage County Library
22 Library Lane
Linn, MO USA 65051

Additional drop-off locations may be available in the future. Check back soon! 

Project Goals
The Poppies to the Park project has three goals for different sections of the Bicentennial Bridge. This project is anticipated to grow year to year. The garland can be reused each year. Some poppies will need to be replaced over time. In future years we hope to line the railing on both sides of the bridge.

  • Goal 1: The Arches – 5,300 poppies. There are 21 “arches” enclosing the bridge over the railroad tracks measuring 31 feet in length. Approximately 230 poppies are needed to cover each arch.
  • Goal 2: The Entrance Railing – 700 poppies.  85 feet of railing lead to the covered portion on the west side of the bridge.
  • Goal 3: The Slope – 4,000 poppies. 503 feet of railing is the remaining length of the western rail of the bridge from the bridge gates to Deborah Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island. This is the longest portion of railing and is separated into 8-foot sections. One 8-foot section requires approximately 70 poppies.
Important Dates
  • Now – October 31, 2024: Poppy donations accepted
  • Wednesday, November 6, 2024: Rotary Club installation
  • November 11-30, 2024: Poppies to the Park on display
How to Help
Be a Poppymaker 
Whether you make one poppy or one hundred, any amount you donate will help! For the real MVPs (most voluminous poppymakers), a group or organization can make the Poppy Pledge by committing to adorn an entire arch (approximately 230 poppies).

Once this Arch goal is met, the Poppy Pledge will extend to the 8-foot rail sections.

Be a Poppy Patron
If time and talent are a challenge, your gift of treasure is just as appreciated. Monetary donations will help event organizers create poppy assembly kits that will be distributed to area assisted living facilities, whose residents are excited to put their knitting needles to good use! Donations are accepted through the JC Parks Foundation online or by check to:

JC Parks Foundation
1299 Lafayette St.
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Attn: Poppies to the Park

The Purpose

The project’s Who, What, Where, and How are covered. Learn about the Why.
Why this project?
A local Jefferson City Rotary Club member was inspired by the project of a Rotary Club in Australia. The Australian Rotary club lined their town’s bridge with poppy garland on ANZAC Day. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day first commemorated soldiers who fought in the Gallipoli, Turkey campaign during World War I. ANZAC Day has expanded to include service personnel from all conflicts and holds a similar significance as Memorial Day does in the United States. Members of the Australian Rotary Club have also supplied poppies for our project!
Why the Bicentennial Bridge?
The Bicentennial Bridge trailhead is near two veteran memorials. The Bicentennial Bridge trailhead adjoins the Missouri Veterans Memorial at the state capitol and visitors pass the Gold Star Families Memorial to access the Bicentennial Bridge to Deborah Cooper Park on Adrian’s Island.
Why poppies?
The red poppy is a worldwide symbol of remembrance for military personnel. Poppies germinated in the wartorn fields of Belgium during World War I which inspired John McCrae to write the poem “In Flanders Fields”. Many veterans organizations sell poppies to be worn around Veterans Day as a way to raise funds, awareness and commemorate those who served.
Why Veterans Day?
What we know in the United States as Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day. Held annually on November 11 to commemorate the end of World War I, the day eventually expanded to include veterans of all conflicts.

Help Us Reach Our Goal!

5,300 poppies are needed to meet the first goal of covering the 21 arches supporting the covered bridge over the railroad tracks. Each arch measures 31 feet in length and will need 230 poppies for each arch.  Every 5% increment means a poppy-covered arch.

For Veteran’s Day 2023, poppies were sent from Missouri, California, Florida, Arizona, Iowa, and Australia. We can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store!

  • Poppies Donated 30% 30%

Contact Us

Comments and inquiries can be directed to JC Parks staff Leann Porrello, lporrello@jeffersoncitymo.gov or (573) 403-7812.